Base plate of a Roman mirror
Base plate of a Roman bronze mirror
1st cent. AD to 3rd cent AD.
Roman Imperial period.
Base plate of a mirror in the shape of a dish. Both sides are decorated with concentric circles.
Mirrors were common place in upper class Roman households. A metallic base plate made of lead or bronze was polished at one side and coated with a reflective layer of e.g. a lead silver alloy. The mirrors of especially wealthy households had additional incised decorations. Because the handles were soldered to the plate they were often lost already in antiquity. The thin reflective layer was lost over the passage of time, so that most archaeological finds today look like the piece presented here.
Good condition. Rim of the mirror broken off and missing in two places that make up approx. 1/4 of the circumference. The rest of the disc is fully intact and well preserved. Impressive patina.
Acquired at a German auction house in 2021. Previously in the German private collection G. Hauck. Acquired in 2002 from the former collection of viniculture historian Friedrich von Bassermann-Jordan (1872-1959) located in Germany.
Cf. G. Zahlhaas, Die Sammlung Marie-Luise und Dr. Thomas Dexel, page 117, cat. 176 and 177.
A good introduction into the typology of mirrors with further literature recommendations is given by G. Lloyd-Morgan in The Mirrors. Description of the Collections in the Rijksmuseum G.M. Kam at Nijmegen IX (1981).
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